Major disruption in US airports after computer error grounds flights nationwide

Flights across the US has been grounded. Credit: AP

Hundreds of flights in the United States have been delayed after the computer system that alerts pilots of potential hazards failed, forcing all flights to be grounded for hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the error was in its NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system had failed.

NOTAM sends notices to pilots and other personnel about possible hazards and any changes to airport facilities while they are in the air.

All aircraft are required to route through the system, including commercial and military flights.

The FAA ordered all US flights to delay departures until 9AM Eastern (2PM GMT), though airlines said they were aware of the situation and had already begun grounding flights.

There were large delays across the US. Credit: AP

Nearly 5,000 flights were delayed and almost 900 had been cancelledAccording to FAA advisories, the NOTAM system failed at 8:28PM Eastern on Tuesday preventing new or amended notices from being distributed to pilots.

The FAA resorted to a telephone hotline to keep departures flying overnight, but as daytime traffic picked up it overwhelmed the telephone backup system.

The White House initially said that there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the outage that ruined travel plans for millions of passengers.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday morning that he’s directed the Department of Transportation to investigate.

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